Certain hydrocarbons have been shown to cause nephrotoxicity in male rats. Because of tetralin's unique structural and electrical character, tetralin metabolism in male and female Fischer 344 rats and its effects on renal damage were evaluated. Male and female Fischer 344 rats were intragastrically dosed every other day with tetralin over a 14 day period. Additionally Fischer rats were pretreated intraperitoneally with either corn oil, sodium phenobarbital, 3- methylcholanthrene or SKF 525-A and then dosed with tetralin intragastrically every other day over a 14 day period. When compared with male control rats, male rats exposed to tetralin exhibited increased cytoplasmic hyaline droplets in proximal convoluted tubular epithelial cells which were indicative of toxic injury. Additionally, foci of cellular degeneration were present within proximal convoluted tubules. All pretreated male rats, except for 2 rats pretreated with 3-methylcholanthrene, exhibited renal lesions. Exposed and control female rats did not display any renal damage. The tetralin metabolites found in the urine of all male and female exposed rats were: 1-tetralol, 2-tetralol, 2-hydroxy-1- tetralone, 4-hydroxy-1-tetralone, 1,2-tetralindiol, and 1,4-tetralindiol.